Why is it that we start taking things seriously only when tragedy hits closer to home? Why do we wait for the storm and then prepare, instead of showing preparedness in advance? The COVID-19 pandemic has been no different and instead of dealing with things with ample preparation, we have been working on panic, triggers, and finger pointing.
The merry idea of wanting to flatten the curve seemed so easy. Just stay at home, distance yourselves and we will all be fine. But it is all much more complicated than that; especially when people are sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for the government to open up so that they can go out again. At the same time, these are the same people who want to blame the government for not doing anything, not doing enough. These are also the people who want bailouts like handouts, instead of loans because for some reason we, as a society, have come to believe that the government owes us. We forget though, government is of the people, for the people and by the people. So these heads, sitting at the grown up table are nothing more than our elected representatives. They don’t come to power because of some superhuman powers they possess and so, expecting them to come up with divine solutions is nothing less than humane.
Has anyone thought of it this way—having to make decisions such as opening up the recreation sites or hair salons, that seem so simple and yet are nothing short of matters of life and death, must be so stressful for those in power. No matter what decisions the governments take, they will always see some opposition, some push back. Last week, when recreation sites and parks across Northern America started to slowly open up, there was an instant flood of people everywhere. Across the border, when Yellowstone National Park opened up its gates last week, people lined up in their cars and campers, crowding, flaunting the social distancing rules. Elsewhere across the ocean, when liquor shops opened up, people descended on the streets to buy liquor, started hoarding up on it, erupting in to arguments over it and again, blaming the government for opening the shops in the first place. Then again, right here in our backyard, Ontario and Vancouver have been seeing some serious traffic with people rushing out their doors, without masks, without social distancing, queuing up in front of restaurants and stores.
All such incidents, give another reason to indulge in blame game. It’s the government’s fault for opening up too soon, right? Wrong. It is unfair to point fingers at the government when we are the ones not following protocol, not taking this sensibly. Even though apportioning responsibility to others is the instinctive response we humans have, it is important for us to take the responsibility for our actions instead of blaming the governments, and companies for their actions. It is important, we all share the burden of responsibility and do our share during this pandemic, instead of just sitting back, waiting for those in power to make rules and take decisions. Here is to hoping we are as intelligent a species as we actually believe, and here’s to taking responsibility for our actions.
Priyanka Ketkar is Multi-Media Reporter for Black Press working out of the Burns Lake office